While it is difficult to predict how a person from the 16th-century might address a contemporary issue, his writings and examples can shed light on his principles. John Knox spoke to the issue of women in leadership. Also, it should be noted, though I have read some of what Knox has written, I have not read all that he has written. An expert on Knox may correct my impressions of his views.

That having been said, Knox has been batted around on blogs concerning Palin. Some have tried to say that Knox cannot be used to argue against women in civil office because he accepted the legitimacy of Elizabeth’s rule. Some seem to think Knox is inconsistent and allows for women rulers when they are supportive of him. However, this misses Knox’s clear view of the Scriptures in regard to the argument and the complexity of having to live with the reality of women rulers.

Believing in God’s Sovereignty, Knox understands that God has raised these women up to authoritative positions for a reason. But this does not mean that we, as Christians, should try to argue that it is okay according to God’s revealed will that women seek and be given civil leadership. It seems that the majority of those who are now supportive of McCain/Palin are in disagreement with Knox. The following quote from Knox sets forth his approach in regard to Elizabeth.

If any think me either enemy to the person or yet to the regimen of her whom God hath now promoted, they are utterly deceived of me; for the miraculous work of God, comforting his afflicted by an infirm vessel, I do acknowledge, and the power of his most potent hand – raising up whom best pleaseth his mercy to suppress such as fight against his glory – I will obey, albeit that both nature and God’s most perfect ordinance repugn to such regimen. More plainly to speak, if queen Elizabeth shall confess that the extrordinary dispensation of God’s great mercy maketh that lawful unto her which both nature and God’s law do deny unto all women, then shall none in England be more willing to maintain her lawful authority than I shall be: but if – God’s wondrous work set aside – she ground, as God forbid, the justness of her title upon consuetude, laws or ordinances of men; then I am assured, that as such foolish presumption doth highly offend God’s supreme majesty, as do I greatly fear that her ingratitiude shall not long want punishment. (Knox’s History of the Reformation of Religion in Scotland, Published in 1831 by Blackie and Son, Glasgow)

One of the questions raised by current events is not whether we accept God’s Sovereignty in this but whether we should be supportive in promoting and electing a person that violates Scriptural principles concerning leadership positions? And, obviously, there needs to be further discussion regarding exactly what the Scriptural principles are regarding civil leadership.

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